One of my favorite lines from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” is:
“No man is a failure who has friends.”
I believe this to be true, as there are times when you cannot catch yourself from falling. There are times you cannot fight for yourself. There are times you feel weak and tired, in the midst of your journey. There are moments along the journey that you honestly forget why you got started. There are nights and holidays that become unbearable. There are battles you fight, that you sometimes cannot get your footing in.
It is in these times, I believe, that a strong defense is friendship.
Several years ago, I received a call from my mom’s job asking me to get her, as she had become ill. After getting her, she tried to convince me they were overreacting, and that she was fine. She did not want to go to the emergency room. I listened to her concerns but decided to go anyway.
We checked in about 2:00 pm that afternoon. By 4:00 pm, we still had not been seen. Normally, I would have made a fuss, but for some reason I did not. My mom was ready to go. I was tempted. But still, I felt like we should wait. By 6:00 pm, we were taken to a small triage area. She was fine. They checked her vitals. Everything seemed in order. We waited some more. By about 7:40 pm, we were taken to the back to wait on the doctor. Thirty minutes back there, my mom seemed suddenly a bit off. The doctor asked her where she was, she was not sure. He asked her for the name of her daughter. She said Debra. It was then that I knew there was a problem. Something was wrong. They quickly prepared her for a CT scan and the results were horrible. She was suffering an aneurysm and there was bleeding on the brain. They moved her to another room and quickly began to draw blood and hooked her to all sorts of machines.
I was scared. Things were happening so quickly. I was not sure of the terminology the doctors were using. Their bottom line, though, was she could die. This was serious. They needed to stop the bleeding. Too much was happening too quickly, and it was at that time that I needed someone else to fight for me while I got my footing. I needed someone to stand with me so that I did not lose it or fail my mom who needed me to, not only be strong, but to understand what was happening to make sound decisions on her behalf.
Friendships can be effective defense mechanisms against discouragement, disappointment, and fear in the middle of a battle. It was for me.
Many people have an aversion to friendships, because they have experienced unbelievably bad ones. From that, they stay away and never develop authentic, meaningful relationships that can be a defense for them in times of trouble.
Think about how an island is structured. By definition, it is completely surrounded by water. The very structure makes it susceptible to enemy invasion. There are numerous opportunities for a takeover. When surrounded with walls and towers of solid, sincere “friendships,” a potential takeover becomes tougher in a serious fight.
Do not be an island on your adventure. Find people that get you. People that have earned a right to get you straight behind closed doors. People that do not play about you or entertain negative words or narratives about who you are. People that show up and have your back even when it does not benefit them to do so. Choose your tribe. Not all family are friends. Family relationships can, though, elevate to solid friendships. It is up to you to decide who gets access to you. Choose carefully. Inspect motives. Let time show you who they are, and when time brings revelation, believe it.
Some friendships are with people you see often. Some are “air coverage” type relationships, who swoop in and out when needed. Others are your “navy seal” type friendships that watch movement from afar and when direct, unconventional warfare is needed, they are self-deployed without your knowledge.
In all your getting, make sure solid, sincere friendships are in your arsenal.
Sharwin Wiltz-Boney is an entrepreneur, business consultant/coach, speaker and author who currently serves as President and CEO of a financial infrastructure management company that has operated in the Houston area for more than a decade. Utilizing the experience she has gained through business ventures and her very own life journey, Sharwin invites you into her Musings. Have a comment? Drop her a line at email@example.com.